Tips to Help Seniors Living at Home with COPD

January 10, 2024

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For seniors living at home with COPD, elder care is a must. With elder care, seniors who are struggling to manage COPD won’t have to worry about trying to do household tasks like cleaning, dusting, laundry, and other tasks that could make their symptoms from COPD worse. 

Seniors who have COPD can live comfortably at home, but seniors and their family caregivers need to take steps to make sure the environment is safe for someone with a compromised lung function. If your senior parent has COPD but wants to continue living at home, use these tips to make them safe and comfortable in their home:

Install an Air Purification System

Talk to an HVAC technician about installing a whole-house air purification system to improve the quality of the air indoors. If that’s not possible, run small air purifiers in each room to help reduce the amount of dust, allergens, and irritants in the air. Making sure the indoor air is as allergen-free as possible will make a big difference in your senior parent’s symptoms. 

No Smoking

Your senior parent should of course not be smoking if they have COPD. But, you should also make sure that no one else is smoking in or around the house either. That means making sure that family members who visit don’t smoke around your senior parent, even if they smoke outside. All smoking should be prohibited in and around the house by everyone coming into the house. 

Stay Active Within Limits

Regular physical activity is beneficial for seniors with COPD, but seniors need to stop when they feel like it’s getting hard to breathe. Strenuous workouts are not recommended. Gentle walks, yoga, Tai Chi, stretching, and other light exercises are best for seniors with COPD.

Practice Deep Breathing Techniques

Learning and practicing deep breathing techniques can help improve lung function and help seniors manage COPD symptoms. Techniques such as pursed-lip breathing and diaphragmatic breathing can aid in controlling shortness of breath and promoting better oxygen exchange. Your senior parent should talk to their doctor or a therapist about these techniques. 

Talk to Their Doctor About Oxygen Therapy

For seniors with advanced COPD, oxygen therapy may be prescribed to ensure an adequate oxygen supply. Proper use of supplemental oxygen can improve energy levels, reduce breathlessness, and enhance overall functioning. It's important to follow healthcare provider recommendations regarding the use of oxygen. Elder care at home can help seniors with nebulizers and oxygen therapy treatments. 

Take Frequent Breaks

Seniors who have COPD may need to take frequent breaks when they are going to the doctor, running errands, or shopping. It’s strongly recommended that seniors with COPD have an elder care provider with them when they are going out and about so that they don’t need to overexert themselves driving, lifting items into and out of shopping carts, or carrying heavy bags. An elder care provider can also make sure that seniors take frequent breaks to rest and carry an emergency inhaler in case their senior parent becomes short of breath when they are away from home.  

If you or your loved one is looking for Elder Care in Palo Alto, CA, please call Familiar Surroundings Home Care.

Santa Clara County: (408) 979-9990 

San Mateo County: (650) 353-9777

Santa Cruz County: (831) 480-3990


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